DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

KARLE DUNBAR

Social Media Manager

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

CANDACE KELLEY

GABRIELA TAMARIZ

DAVID SICILIA

NOEL HOLSTON

JONATHAN STORM

 
 
 
 
 
2011
May
9
 
 
TVWW is dedicated to the best that TV can offer, but it's worthwhile, from time to time, to dredge the bottom of the lake, haul up the darkest muck we can find, and examine it under the cleansing light of our internet glare. Given National Geographic's new season of the bottom-feeding Taboo, it's clear that the little gold rectangle (their logo), which once symbolized the knowledge of the world, also now stands for a meshugganah Pandora's Box of human behavioral disorders...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
May
2
 
 
Have you ever contemplated a stack of Tupperware and suddenly seen the genius of the modern movement? No? Well, the 2010 BBC series The Genius of Design is now out on DVD with five episodes spanning the bulk of the modern movement in design. It's a fun, educational romp through the marketplace, mass production, consumerism -- and yes, the invention of the once revolutionary and now uber-dull plastic Tupperware. This series (broadcast last year on the Smithsonian Channel and now available on
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Apr
6
 
 
Last week, Bill Maher said that finding the Reelz channel, new home of the orphaned Kennedy miniseries, was harder than finding Al Jazeera. With a thousand channels, narrowcasting, or niche broadcasting, has something for everyone. That includes Current TV, which is something Al Gore actually DID invent...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Mar
15
 
 
There is still time to see HBO's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's 2006 play debating faith and the existence of God. Starring and directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Sunset Limited is another dark masterwork by McCarthy, and a sterling showcase for Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, two veterans effortlessly at the top of their game in an unforgettable 90 minutes where existential nihilism and devout belief collide...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Mar
3
 
 
Back in the day, cartoon characters lived on the wrong side of the tracks -- a noirish, seedy Los Angeles neighborhood called Toon Town (1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). The idea was that Toons, as they were slurred, were fully formed cartoons living alongside us in the real-action world: hustling, conniving C-level actors and two-bit criminals not to be trusted. Well, so they remain. Most of the Toons living on cable and the net are still on society's fringe...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
15
 
 
Forget the high-concept procedural grand dames or the bullets a-flyin' action shows. Southland has everything you need. This Tuesday night TNT hour (10 p.m. ET) stays down to earth, delivering an absorbing cop show worth caring about. It's a character-driven drama that doesn't tie everything up with a pretty bow...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Feb
6
 
 
Those of us waiting for Larry David to return can meanwhile watch a sort of Curb Your Enthusiasm in reverse -- a Seinfeld-Bizarro World of kind, well-intentioned leading characters, with everyone else around them being bitter and inappropriate...And now Showtime's Episodes has British TV writers Sean and Beverly Lincoln (played by Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig), a well-meaning couple adrift in a sea of smiling Hollywood backstabbers...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Jan
23
 
 
Even the most popular characters on weekly shows don't get the saturation some recurring advertising characters get on a daily basis. If exposure equals success, then they are huge. My current favorite, Allstate's dark angel "Mayhem," is on every night, pretty much hourly. He's serious, menacing and sometimes gleeful as he orchestrates destruction...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Dec
30
 
 
An old TVWW friend, his eyes gone distant for a second, once blurted out, "Life is ... really ... real!" After a few stunned seconds, we hit him with the usual tonnage of mockery. His point being, though (yes, there was one), that real life in general is too odd, surprising and unscripted to ever be considered banal when compared to the literary kind in novels, films and TV. And that your life, however mundane it seemed, was generally pretty entertaining, excluding catastrophes...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2010
Dec
14
 
 
If you're not in the habit of paying attention to the 21st century city -- the modern architecture around you -- PBS might be cooking up something to help you look at it more closely. The public TV pilot Cool Spaces is looking at modern architecture. It's up to be green lit, pending panel review and viewer interest from folks like you...
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Eric Gould

Associate Editor

Eric Gould is a writer in Boston. With prior stints in art, music, photography and design under his belt, he casts a wide net across the media pool fishing for the smart, the surprising and the oddly compelling. He is also the DVD review editor for TVWW. Email him at gould@tvworthwatching.com

 
 

Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20.

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 
 

This Day in TV History